Which Program is Best?
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Jenny Craig resulted in about a 5 percent greater weight loss after a year, compared with a control group provided nutrition education and counseling, the researchers found.
Another popular program, Nutrisystem, resulted in nearly a 4 percent greater weight loss than a control group. However, the available studies only followed up for three months and could not prove sustained weight loss, according to the report. Noting that these plans tend to be more affordable, she recommended that people discuss them with their doctor.
Costs of the programs varied widely from no cost for Lose It! Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig work because they provide structure, counseling and social support for people who want to lose weight, said Jim White, owner and president of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studios in Virginia, and a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
It teaches you consistency. It teaches you about changing your lifestyle for the long haul," White said. The two plans also focus on portion size, which is a crucial lesson for anyone trying to improve their diet and lose weight, said Heather Mangieri, owner of Nutrition CheckUp in Pittsburgh and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dietary guidelines provided by the U. A one-on-one counselor provides support for someone who needs a more personalized plan. Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig seek to assist dieters with healthy weight loss through cutting calories. Jenny Craig offers prepackaged foods for dieters to eat, so that they don't need to concern themselves with counting the calories. Weight Watchers offers a points system, giving each member an allotted amount of points per day based on the dieter's weight, and assigning each food a points value according to the fat, calories and fiber content of each food.
Each plan offers a variety of food choices to keep dieters on track and satisfied. Jenny Craig has prepackaged meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as some snacks. Dieters can expect to enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats and pasta.
Weight Watchers, while offering prepackaged foods, uses the points values to allow dieters to eat anything they want while still staying within their daily allowance, so it might be a better fit for those who have favorite foods that they don't want to give up. Dieters have to expend effort on either plan. In a Weight Watchers plan, a good deal of effort goes toward calculating points and making sure that you constantly are under your daily allowance.
A food journal may be helpful for this purpose.